Basalt’s Eaton on fire in opener; Aspen ‘hammered’

Tim Mutrie
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Basalt senior Ashley Eaton scored two goals and had two assists as the BHS girls soccer team opened the 2004 season with a convincing 4-0 win over Class 3A Western Slope League rival Vail Mountain.

Basalt junior goalie Darbi Scherer recorded the shutout without once ever touching the ball, according to first-year head coach Chris “Woodsie” Woods.

“Not even a goal kick,” said Woods. “Our defense was awesome. As soon as they got over the half, we just swarmed ’em.”

Meanwhile, the Aspen High girls opened on the road last Friday and Saturday against larger Class 4A teams Grand Junction Central and Fruita Monument, losing 7-1 and 10-1, respectively.

“We’ve been in the gym all season and these teams play outside year-round, so it doesn’t mean much,” said Aspen coach John Gillies. “We’re just looking to get better each game at this point.”

Today and Saturday, Aspen and Basalt host Denver-area power Faith Christian. Due to field conditions in Aspen, both games will be played at the Basalt High field.

At 4 p.m. today, Aspen kicks off with Faith. On Saturday at 11 a.m., it’s Basalt’s turn.

Basalt, the five-time defending Class 3A Western Slope League champions, returned to their old form against Vail Mountain, said Woods.

Eaton scored the only goal of first half, assisted by junior Sophie Stenstadvold. Sophomore Maddie Hoffman scored the second one, assisted by Eaton, and Stenstadvold got the third, assisted by Eaton again. Eaton scored the final goal with about 10 minutes to play, assisted by senior Whitney Lund.

Senior Amanda Schmitt, three days removed from the 3A girls state basketball tournament with the BHS girls hoops team, “pretty much ran the show for the defense,” said Woods.

Center midfielder Emily Birk, a freshman, got the start and “played very well,” said Woods. “Not how you’d expect a freshman playing their first varsity game to play.

“And obviously Ashley was just awesome. She and Shannon Hutton controlled everything in the middle.”

Aspen, which typically struggles in the early-season due to snow and challenging field conditions, is implementing a new formation this year, said coach Gillies.

“We always get hammered this time of year,” he said. “Faith is a good strong Denver team, but they’re in our class, so we’ll be looking to improve our results.”

Seniors Lindsay Patterson, Alex Bethel and Katy Cadger should provide veteran leadership for the team, while freshmen Taylor Buzbee and Jordan Karlinski should add new excitement to the lineup, Gillies said.

“I’m excited, I really am,” he said. “We’ve got a great core of players, and we’ve got some youth coming up, and we’re trying new things. It may take us awhile to gel, but as long as they steadily improve I’ll be happy.”